The other night the husband and I attended City Talks 2011: Fostering a Green Precinct at Walsh Bay. City Talks are a part of Sustainable Sydney 2030, a Clover Moore initiative with the aim of making Sydney creative, vibrant, and sustainable. There have been some amazing keynote speakers in the past, including Former Lord Mayor of London Robert Whitehead, New York’s Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan, and of course our favourite city planner Jan Gehl.
Last week’s speakers were Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton followed by a panel including Lisa Havileh (CEO Carriageworks), Rafael Banachela (Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company). Craig Allchin (Director, Six Degrees Architecture), and Clover Moore (Lord Mayor, City of Sydney).
Cate & Andrew spoke of their vision for the area and why a theatre company should be concerned about sustainability. A major problem for the area is transport, with light rail and cycling identified as crucial to improving access to the cultural precinct. Videos and podcasts of the night can be found here with archives going back to 2006.
One thing I love about these talks is that they’re more than just talk. For example, after Janette Sadik-Khan’s keynote address the City of Sydney Council took her advice and bought some striped deck chairs, tables and large umbrellas and installed them in the public space alongside Town Hall. They also hooked up free wifi and of course it has been an immense success with the public able to engage with their public space in a meaningful and practical way.
Another example of City Of Sydney Council walking the walk rather than just talking the talk is the free valet bike parking provided at these events.
Whether it be a City Talk at Sydney’s Town Hall, or a free concert in the Domain, the Council arranges for free secure valet bike parking manned by volunteers at all of its events. So no excuse not to ride your bike!
|Waiting for the bikes to arrive|
|Bike collected and headed home|
|Plenty of takers for the valet bike parking!|
Love Coco xx